Volleyball: Calvary rolls in playoff opener

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Matt Matthews/Courtesy photo
Denton Calvary junior Anna Hollingshead sends a winner across the net for Denton Calvary Academy in Tuesday's playoff win over Dallas Lakehill Prep.
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Throughout district play, Calvary head coach Jennifer Bramlett never had to call a timeout to settle her team down or provide admonishment.

In Tuesday night’s playoff game against Dallas Lakehill Prep, that pattern continued.

Calvary’s dominance carried over into the bi-district round of the TAPPS Class 2A playoffs. The Lady Lions defeated Lakehill 25-11, 25-6, 25-7 at First Baptist Church of Denton.

Calvary advances to face Dallas Covenant in the area round, with the date yet to be determined. The teams will play at First Baptist because Calvary (28-5) came in as one of the six No. 1 seeds in the 2A playoffs.

Calvary junior Madeline Mayer said the team’s goals may not have specifically included an easy victory in its playoff opener, but the byproducts of an undefeated district campaign are readily accepted.

“I wouldn’t call it our goal, but that’s just how we play,” Mayer said. “We played at our level, and that’s the result of playing at our level.”

Calvary’s level was a few decibels higher than Lakehill could handle. In each of the three sets, the Lady Lions jumped out to commanding leads, with points coming in bulk.

Mayer, possibly Calvary’s tallest player, had a match-high 12 kills to pace the front line. Cory Grant added five kills. Calvary only tallied two blocks on the night, a testament to Lakehill’s offensive struggles.

Mayer wore a large brace on her right leg, a preventive measure after suffering a torn ACL in January.

Calvary’s Megan Courtney, possibly the shortest player on the court, came off the bench and served 13 straight points in the second set. When Courtney moved along in the rotation, Calvary led 19-3.

Throughout the season, the Lady Lions have proven their ability to contend with public school teams as well. Calvary won the Graham tournament, beating the likes of Archer City and Nocona, which reached the UIL Class 2A state tournament last season.

There were instances in the Graham tournament when Calvary found itself tied at 24 in a set and found ways to come out with a victory.

Against two home-school teams, Calvary’s players made adjustments mid-game, one of the quickest ways the team can please its coach.

“We made some adjustments, and that’s really what I look for,” Bramlett said. “Are they making adjustments in the meat of the game, when the game is on the line? Are they making the changes to better things? And so far, they’ve done it every time I’ve asked them to.”

Against Lakehill, there wasn’t a need to make adjustments. Calvary dictated play and tested Lakehill’s back row throughout the match.

Bramlett is in her first year at Calvary after six years at Guyer, where Mayer also played.

Bramlett understands that things won’t come as easy as they did Tuesday as her team continues to go deeper into the playoffs. Covenant was one of seven No. 2 seeds entering the playoffs.

“I’m coming from UIL, so I’ve never been to the TAPPS state tournament,” Bramlett said. “We’re getting as prepared as we possibly can.

“I expect it to be very competitive.”

Mayer said the team sets out each night to improve on its previous performance.

“I feel like this gives us the confidence,” Mayer said. “We really expect teams to be wild cards — you never know what’s going to happen. We just want to play consistently like we did tonight in every game.”

BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869. His e-mail address is bbaby@dentonrc.com .

 

 


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